AmericaSpace Countdown

Next Launch TMA-16M on a Soyuz-FG rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan
scheduled for:
27 Mar 15 19:42:59 GMT
28 Mar 15 1:42:59 ALMT
27 Mar 15 15:42:59 Eastern

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NASA's MMS Fleet and the Science of Magnetic Reconnection

Artist concept of MMS, a mission to study how magnetic fields release energy in a process known as magnetic reconnection. MMS consists of four identical observatories that will fly in a tight formation and provide the first three-dimensional view of magnetic reconnection. Photo Credit: NASA

Artist’s concept of MMS, a mission to study how magnetic fields release energy in a process known as magnetic reconnection. MMS consists of four identical observatories that will fly in a tight formation and provide the first 3-D view of magnetic reconnection. Photo Credit: NASA

Another NASA mission is about to blast into the magnetosphere. […]

New Technique to Study Clouds on Exoplanets Developed by Researchers at MIT

Artist’s conception of clouds on Kepler-7b. Image Credit: NASA (edited by Jose-Luis Olivares/MIT)

While exoplanets are now being discovered by the thousands, it is still a painstaking process to determine any specific details about them, since they are so incredibly far away. However, astronomers have been devising new techniques to do just that, including […]

The Coming of SMAP, Part Two: SMAP, Aquarius, and Our Planet’s Water Cycle

The launch of NASA’s latest Earth Science mission, the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission, atop a United Launch Alliance Delta-II rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., on Jan. 31, 2015. Photo Credit: Mike Killian / AmericaSpace

Story and Interviews by Chris Howell, with: Dr. Simon Yueh, JPL SMAP Senior Research Scientist Dr. […]

NASA's MMS Fleet Ready for Mission to Study Magnetic Reconnection in Earth's Magnetosphere

All four of NASA’s MMS spacecraft in the clean room at Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, Fla., completed and stacked for launch atop a ULA Atlas-V rocket as early as March 12, 2015. Photo Credit: Alan Walters / AmericaSpace

In a few weeks four identically-instrumented NASA spacecraft will launch on the space agency’s next […]

Mapping Planet Earth: 15 Years Since STS-99 (Part 2)

The Outboard Antenna of the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) extends 200 feet (60 meters) into space atop a mast extended from Endeavour’s payload bay. Photo Credit: NASA

Fifteen years ago, this week, the six-member crew of STS-99—Commander Kevin Kregel, Pilot Dom Gorie, and Mission Specialists Janet Kavandi, Janice Voss, Germany’s Gerhard Thiele, and […]

Mapping Planet Earth: 15 Years Since STS-99 (Part 1)

Computer-generated image of Endeavour performing radar observations with instruments in her payload bay and affixed to the deployable Outboard Antenna on STS-99. Image Credit: NASA

At the dawn of the year 2000, more precise radar maps existed of Venus—thanks to NASA’s Magellan imaging spacecraft—than of our own Home Planet. Although areas of Earth had […]

Exploring an Alien Sea: NASA Designs Submarine to Send to Titan

Artist’s conception of the Titan Submarine Phase I Conceptual Design. Much like submarines on Earth, the sub would explore the depths of one of Titan’s methane/ethane seas. Image Credit: NASA

Who wouldn’t want to go explore an alien sea? It seems that NASA would certainly like to, and the agency has unveiled a new submarine […]

'Third Time Lucky': SpaceX Successfully Launches DSCOVR on Three-Month, Million-Mile Trek to L1

After more than a decade of delay and disappointment, Triana has risen again as the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR), rocketing into space atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.1 booster at 6:03 p.m. EST Wednesday. Photo Credit: Alan Walters/AmericaSpace

Following two scrubs in three days, caused by a combination of problematic high-level winds and […]

Cassini Data Indicates Enceladus' Ocean Similar to Soda Lakes on Earth

The geysers of Enceladus, erupting through cracks in the ice at the south pole from a subsurface salty ocean or sea. Image Credit: NASA/JPL

Along with Jupiter’s infamous moon Europa, Saturn’s moon Enceladus is one of the most fascinating places in the Solar System, with its huge geysers of water vapor erupting from cracks […]

'Open-Ended': What 1967 Might Have Been

The Apollo 1 crew, pictured during training, would have embarked on an open-ended mission of up to 14 days in duration in February-March 1967. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Figuratively and literally, February is a gloomy month, particularly in the Northern Hemisphere—a four-week period of darkness, plunging temperatures, and poor weather, with the […]